Sen. Nate Boulton to remain in Iowa Senate


by Zoe Seiler, News Editor

DES MOINES, IA—Three women accused state senator Nate Boulton of sexual misconduct on May 23, and he ended his Democratic gubernatorial campaign the next day.

After many calls to resign from the Iowa Senate, Boulton has decided to keep his senate seat.

Boulton apologized for his actions and is committed to making sure his actions do not raise any questions, he said in a statement. He also said, “Moreover, my perspective has less relevance than the experiences of those who felt that I crossed lines. Excessive drinking has no doubt led me to misread appropriate social boundaries and make choices that I would never tolerate while sober.”

Boulton, who graduated from Simpson in 2002, has worked occasionally as an adjunct professor at the college. He was a political science student who had class with Professor John Epperson.

“I think this is a very complicated story,” Epperson said. “What Nate did is wrong as he has acknowledged and it ended his gubernatorial bid, as it should have. He says he has had a drinking problem and that is the source of some of his other problems. Perhaps that is true. I believe in forgiveness and I think the notion that one indiscretion should completely end Nate’s political career is, frankly, absurd.”

Some supporters were hurt, while others were ashamed, along with other leaders and senators at the statehouse.

Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen said in a statement that she is disappointed by Boulton’s decision not to resign.

“When I called on Senator Boulton to resign nearly two months ago, I did it because, like many Iowans, I believe that sexual harassment and misconduct should not be tolerated by anyone, anywhere,” Petersen said. “Senator Boulton will now need to answer to voters in his district, to a potential independent investigation, and to other Iowans involved in the national conversation on this important issue.”

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price admires the women for coming forward and believes Boulton was correct in suspending his gubernatorial campaign.

“Whatever decision he makes, we support a full and thorough investigation by the Iowa Senate into this matter,” Price said in a statement.

Gov. Kim Reynolds also does not support Boulton’s decision.

“The governor believes Senator Boulton should resign from the Iowa Senate, but if he does not, it is up to Senate Democrats to address the situation—whether they decide to start an investigation, take away his committee assignments or take any other action,” Brenna Smith, press secretary to the governor, said in a statement.

Boulton represents Iowa Senate District 16 in the Iowa Legislature, which includes northeast Des Moines and Pleasant Hill. He will be up for re-election in 2020.